Now that we are officially past Black Friday.....people are in full swing for their holiday shopping. Some of you shop all year long, and are sitting pretty right now. Some of you will wait until a few days before the holiday, and do a marathon shopping.
Starting last year, I opened an ING account to save for our holiday shopping. Each paycheck we have an auto debit to the account, and have it set up that by mid November, our account is funded. Then I have a spreadsheet that lists ALL the costs of the season, with a budget number. I have it set up so I can see what I have left in each person's allotment, so I know where I stand. So far, it is working well.
I have ordered alot of items, and am waiting for their arrival. I love getting boxes and packages! I have gotten a few "have shipped" notices, so by the end of the week, I will have some wrapping to do.
Bossy's "gifts" are done....just need a few stocking stuffers. Sassy is almost done. I ordered something for her, then a catalog came and she loved other stuff. So I will exchange what I got her. Then she just needs 1 more thing, and stocking. Technically, I have used their budget up...however, some other items came in under budget, so it gives me a little leeway. Not ideal, but I am finding as they get older....their items are becoming pricier! Next year will probably either need a larger budget, or less gifts (we did something you want, need, wear, read, and Santa).
Work is causing an issue. As our company has grown so much this year, the number of staff has increased....alot! Last year, I bought gifts for 3 women and Bossman. This year, there are 10 women (and Boss). We are trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Some people have indicated that it is getting to expensive to buy for everyone (which I totally get). I suggested picking names from a hat. That didn't go over well. I might just get dollar store mugs and decorate them, and put some candy or cocoa in it. I am trying to keep it to Under $5 a gift, as some of my other ideas have not worked out.
G-man and I do exchange gifts, but in all honesty...I don't really want anything for ME. I want house stuff, which unfortunately is not in the budget. I would be perfectly happy with a small, token gift under the tree to open, and the rest going toward house projects (the deck, furniture, painting....). G-man isn't thrilled with that. He is really being a pain about it. I get that HE wants stuff.....but I don't. A few years ago, we started making a specific list of what we wanted/needed (to get around the problem of getting items that weren't quite right for one reason or another). I have been avoiding making my list.....
The thorn in my side is regarding my parents. I have basically cut off contact with them. I don't want to send them anything. It isn't appreciated or even liked. Heck, we spent $1200 flying to see them....and Mom sat in her bedroom for 4 days. I am leaning toward the kids making them something (which they have done before, and again....not good enough), and a note saying that due to our trip, we are cutting back. No apology....that trip financially was not in the budget, and it is going to take awhile to pay it off.
Lastly....decorations. I do have a budget for decor. I know I am going to do it....I might as well own it. I would rather budget for it, than spend it and feel bad. I bought a few things, but they didn't work out, so they have to go back. I have to look at the bottom number, but I am pretty sure that my decor budget is gone at this point. We were able to buy 2 new potted trees for the outside, some new lights, a tree for our kitchen (his name is Jacques....after Jacques Pepin) which will have homemade ornaments, and a few other little things here and there.
So there you have it.....our shopping. Hope you all (if you choose to participate in the shopping frenzy) are doing well too!